Autumn has arrived and I’m here to share tips with you so you can have the best Autumn season and year yet with your health.
Autumns associations in Chinese Medicine :
Organs: Lungs, Large Intestine and Skin.
Emotion: Grief, sadness and letting go.
Taste: Pungent and Aromatic.
Movement of Qi: Inwards.
Autumn is a season of decline (The Decline of Yang and Increase in Yin):
The Decline in the hours of Daylight
The Decline in warmth
The Decline in leaves
The Decline in Greens
The Decline in Humidity
The Decline In Energy
So what does this mean for us? We are influenced by these environmental factors physically, emotionally and genetically and i'm going to explain how.
The Decline in hours of Daylight:
Obstacle : As the daylight hours shorten, so does our chances of absorbing vitamin D and ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light cleanses our body from harmful bacteria and fungi, while vitamin D is a useful hormone needed for 1000 chemical reactions in our body and if you live in melbourne you are most likely deficient in vitamin D.
Opportunity: Catch the sun every chance you can and if you work stops you from getting healthy sun exposure, then supplement yourself with Vitamin D3 1000 IU per 11 kg of body weight in the morning. To counter the ultraviolet light deficiency and protect yourself from fungal infections there are wild edible mushrooms in Autumn. If you cant access wild mushrooms or don't have the knowledge to harvest them then you can buy medicinal mushrooms during this season to fortify your body with antimicrobial, anti-fungal and immune regulating properties . I recommend a medicinal mushroom like Wild Reishi, as well adding fresh ginger to meals or to drink as a tea.
Important note: Mushrooms absorb a lot from the environment so always source good quality ingredients or you will run the risk damaging your body with pollutants.
The Decline in Warmth:
Obstacle: With less hours of Sunshine, there is less warmth (Yang) , dressing in the appropriate clothes to make sure you are not losing any warmth allows us to maintain our “Qi” by holding infrared heat in our body. Infrared heat increases the electrical charge of the water in our cells known as “4th phase of water” this electrical charge is a form Qi that helps with organ function and detoxification maintaining healthy homoeostasis within the body.
Opportunity: Keep warm with the appropriate clothes, have a infrared sauna to boost your infrared heat, have more baths, have a acupuncture session with a infrared lamp or Moxabustion (burning Mugowrt near acupuncture points to boost yang/infrared Heat), sit by a fire, do some mild exercise, include some mildly warming herbs like fresh ginger, cardamon, fennel and cinnamon. If you have chronic cold area’s e.g cold feet see a Chinese Medicine herbalist to see what they can do to balance your body.
The Decline in Leaves
Obstacle: It is during this time of the year the leaves of the deciduous tree’s fall in order to protect themselves from the coming months. The leaves were once useful tools for the trees to harvest the energy of the sun, however with the suns decline they are no longer needed and the tree's shed their leaves to conserve their energy .
Opportunity : We must let go! Just like tree’s letting go of their leaves. Letting go is a necessary function for our health in Chinese medicine it is associated with Large Intestine Meridian and Organ. Not letting go and clinging too tightly in a unhealthy way can manifest physically as constipation, IBS and exhaustion.
Before we let go we must De-Cide (Cut- OFF) what isn't needed, a common occurrence during summer is with the abundance of energy and daylight we take on extra activities, business ventures and social engagements which is great for learning and expanding. However now its time for refinement you have new skills, new ideas, new insights, better job or position that can replace the old or be implemented, only keeping the things that are necessary and useful, letting go of the rest.
It's time decide what relationships are not serving you and let them go!
To Protect your heart.
It’s time to decide what projects that are stretching yourself too thin and let them go!
To Protect your health.
It's time to decide on your diet choices that are holding you back and let it go.
To Protect your future.
It's time to say yes to all the things that you really value and are worth your while.
Letting go Exercise
If you are a person that struggles to let go then practice this exercise: Visualise the things that have been holding you back e.g hurtful relationships, bad diet choices etc. Now visualise them being there forever in permanent stasis of discomfort and the consequences we must suffer by holding onto the unneeded things.
It doesn't feel good often we hold on because we think its temporary but temporary can last eternity, use that power and disturbance to decide right now that if you don’t change the situation it never will change because now is all we have.
You can also visualise what it would be like to let go and how freeing that might feel what ever is more emotionally charged will help you achieve your goal.
Letting go is a powerful process for growth and development , as time goes on we can gather wisdom from the things we let go off to make us stronger.
The Decline in Greens: Naturally in temperate climates the availability of certain green vegetation is no longer available. Autumn is a time of gathering and storing, it's a great time to naturally ferment foods especially ones that might not be available in winter, this allows greater nutritional value for the coming months, as well boosted immunity as naturally fermented foods contain a lot of good Pre & Probiotics that benefit our skin and intestinal health.
The Decline in Humidity :
As the warmth of the Sun's yang declines evaporation decreases and humidity lowers. This is why in Chinese Medicine we say dryness is the common condition of Autumn. The dryness can manifest as sore dry throats, chest infections, coughs, dry skin, constipation and colds/flu’s.
Opportunity: Nature provides a solution to this problem, if you eat seasonally in your area Pears ,Apples and Figs are abundant at this time . All these fruits moisten the lungs and throat, lubricate the intestines, stop cough and generate fluids to combat dryness. Having around 2 pieces of these fruit a day (everyday) is needed to gain the benefits. The abundance of nuts is another common sign of autumn, almonds are particularly great for protecting the lungs so get them into you . Activate your almonds and other nuts by soaking them in water to remove Lectins (anti-nutrients) . Lectins act as the plants defence mechanism to stop animals from consuming them before they sprout.
The Decline In Energy:
Naturally Energy levels will drop a little bit during this season (nothing debilitating) following the steps above will protect you from the decline to have a healthy autumn free of colds and burn outs.
As there is naturally less energy in the environment, less heat and daylight its okay to go to bed a bit early. As the ancient texts say in summer its okay to get up early and go to bed late , in Autumn we can get up early and get to bed early, in winter we should get up late and go to bed early.
Sleeping in this cycle will charge your body so by next spring and summer you are ready to kick some serious goals and have the energy to do it.
Get In Contact:
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Have a Happy Autumn